Public Engagement

Past Large Grants 2018-2019

The Centre for Public Engagement (CPE) awarded 7 projects funding as part of the 2018-2019 Large Grant scheme. Find out more information about each of the projects below


ATLANTIS – or when bio-logging meets virtual reality to swim with turtles
Chris Eizaguirre, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences & Guillaume Couche, Wolf in Motion

With this project, we aim to develop ATLANTIS, a novel data analysing software for animal tracking and movement analyses. The uniqueness of ATLANTIS stands from its capacity to analyse complex 3-D data retrieved from bio-logging devices and create a virtual reality representation of it. In other words, we will develop a software to render complex data analyses approachable and, at the same time, a free application to swim with turtles in virtual reality following their true natural behaviours recorded from bio-loggers. The engagement potential of such innovative project is extreme for instance with i) scientists interested in movement ecology (software component), ii) public engagement centres interesting in biodiversity (free application component), iii) anyone in the world concerned by the environment (free application component).

Barts Community Smiles
Barts Community Smiles Team, Institute of Dentistry

Barts Community Smiles is a newly established dental student-led volunteering group that aims to raise awareness of oral health and champion oral health promotion in local schools and the community. Tower Hamlets has previously been deemed ‘one of the worst places for dental health in the country’. Around 40% of the adult population have decayed tooth and 80% suffer from gum diseases. Given the evidence of disease prevalence in Tower Hamlets, our group’s activity will be the delivery of oral health promotion (basic dental advice) and raising the awareness of healthy habits (e.g. reducing sugar intake, toothbrushing daily). We are aiming to carry out these activities via school-based sessions and oral health promotion stalls out in the local community.

The Challenge of the Xingu: engaging new audiences for indigenous cultures in the museum of the future
People’s Palace Projects

In December 2018 the Horniman Museum will open its doors to researchers from QMUL to explore imaginative ways to engage new audiences with indigenous cultures from the Xingu territories of Brazil. Over a weekend of programmed visits, People’s Palace Projects will stage an interactive immersive installation exploring how a museum can use digital means to create immersive experiences that reveal the living heritage of indigenous people. Each visit will end with a discussion led by Yamalui Kuikuro and Chrissie Tiller (arts evaluator and writer) encouraging people to reflect on the experience of the installation. Takumã (prize-winning Brazilian filmmaker) will document these discussions on video for a 20’ film that will be accessible on the Horniman website and PPP’s Youtube channel.

ChessWatch: A water observatory for the River Chess
Kate Heppell, School of Geography

The River Chess is a chalk stream within the Chilterns which is under pressure despite the efforts of local groups to improve river habitat. The River fails to meet ‘good ecological status’ due to a combination of nutrient enrichment, poor health of its fish populations and low flows. The River Chess Association (RCA) and Chiltern Chalk Streams Project (CCSP) work together to enhance the river environment, educating stakeholders about river management. They have partnered with Thames Water on the ‘Smarter Water Catchments’ initiative which aims to develop collaborative plans for management of the River Chess environment from 2020. RCA followers are noticing changes in water quality in the river which they would like to understand, and they have identified the need for publicly-owned datasets on river flows and water quality to support their decision-making, along with help to raise awareness about the current pressures on chalk stream water resources and river health.

Educational Game Jams for Secondary School Children with the Wevva app 
Simon Colton, School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science

This project seeks to engage, enthuse and educate schoolchildren by helping them to make videogames in fast, fun and inspiring game jams, where students make games during a lunch hour, after-school club or visit to the University. This will expose them to game design fundamentals, empower children from all backgrounds to aspire to careers in the games industry and to study computing, and educate them about cutting edge topics such as Artificial Intelligence.

Global Story Cafés: Community conversations about migration and home
Olivia Sheringham, School of Geography 

Working in partnership with Stories & Supper, a refugee supper club, this project will develop and deliver a series of storytelling workshops and story-sharing café sessions with refugees/asylum seekers and local residents in Waltham Forest, one of the most ethnically diverse boroughs in the country. Bringing together local people and refugees/asylum seekers, and working collaboratively from the outset, this project seeks to create spaces of connection and foster dialogue through: storytelling workshops with refugees/asylum seekers and local volunteers (x10); story-sharing cafés targeted at different groups (x3); and a final story-sharing event at theMigration Museum Project (x1). This public engagement project forms part of a wider research programme being developed on ‘Acts of welcome in the City’. It will consolidate existing partnerships with Stories & Supper and theatre maker Sue Mayo as well as develop new collaborations with Phosphoros Theatre, Jumana Moon (storyteller), and the Migration Museum Project.

Imaging the Brienne letters
David Mills, Institute of Dentistry

Working with COMM, Museum for Communication in The Hague, the Brienne letters exhibition will focus on privacy and letterlocking told through the use of their chest of undelivered letters saved by postmaster Simon de Brienne. It will explore early modern postmasters, spymasters and marginal migrant communities. in addition to traditional museum display material, the exhibition will use 3d virtual reality and interactive video helping museum visitors experience the world of ephemeral correspondence. Using QMUL developed technology, this project will comprise the core science focused component of the wider exhibition. 

Patient Health Mentors: Partners in Educating Medical Students
Annie Cushing, Devina Raval, Maria Hayfron-Benjamin and Anita Berlin, Institute of Health Sciences Education

The project will set up a patient health mentor and GP steering group and invite new patients and carers to join the project. The enhanced role for patients will engage them more actively in education. Importantly in-depth partnership with patients will ensure student learn about the impact of the life-course, social and family factors as key determinants of health, outcomes and inequalities. Patients will learn about how medical students’ education addresses patient needs and foster patients’ confidence to act as partners in their own care.